SEDA Writing Retreat 2017

A three day residential event offering support and dedicated educational development writing time in beautiful surroundings

22 November 2017 - 24 November 2017

Location: Woodbrooke, Birmingham

A common frustration for SEDA members is finding quiet time to write for publication. In response to members' requests this retreat will provide a quiet and beautiful space for new and more experienced writers keen to complete writing for publication or conferences. The writing retreat offers you a 'safe space' where you are encouraged to feel at home and gain that dedicated writing time free from the usual distractions with support from a facilitator. Woodbrooke is based in the former family home of the local chocolate maker, George Cadbury. Since 1903 it has provided education for those of any faith or none from around the world. Woodbrooke is set in 10 acres of gardens and woodland, including a lake and walled garden.

The days of the retreat will be about you and your writing. You won't be interrupted, but support will be available as will opportunities to share issues and ideas, including walks through the peaceful grounds.

The aim of the retreat is to provide an opportunity to complete a piece of writing, article or conference paper that is in the development stage. An alternative writing task might be your claim for Principal or Senior Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy. For this reason participants are asked to identify their writing task on registration. Once your place is confirmed you will be asked to submit further details of the proposed writing project.

All participants will have their own comfortable room, with a writing desk, most of which are en suite. All meals are included. Where possible the fruit, vegetables and herbs are grown organically from the gardens. Participants will need to bring their own laptops.

Woodbrooke has a library which is open 24 hours to residents. The Silent Room and the Gazebo in the garden are available for private prayer and contemplation. There is wireless internet connection throughout the buildings. A lounge with a terrace overlooking the garden is available for all guests to relax and socialise in. SEDA has two meeting rooms available for exclusive use of delegates for communal writing.


Jennie Winter is an Associate Professor in Educational Development at the Pedagogic Research Institute and Observatory (PedRIO), Plymouth University. She is a National Teaching Fellow, Senior Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy and a member of SEDA's Scholarship and Research Committee. 

Jennie is interested in a range of academic development themes including inclusivity, education for sustainable development, arts pedagogy and evidencing the impact of academic development. Recent significant work includes a national research project which developed a state of the art resource for evaluating the impact of academic development in United Kingdom (UK) higher education (Kneale et al. 2016) and a current project which investigates how sustainability concepts are taught in Business and Economics curricula in the UK and in China (Winter and Cotton 2016). Jennie’s research has been utilised by the European Commission, presented at many international conferences and by invite to selected institutions. 

Frances Deepwell is Director of Leicester Learning Institute at the University of Leicester. Formerly Chair of the Scholarship, Research and Evaluation committee of SEDA, she has a deep interest in developing knowledge about what sustains enhancements in higher education practices, and how to evaluate and disseminate its effectiveness. She has published in a range of journals, and written chapters in edited books in the field of educational development and research, most recently co-editing a SEDA Special celebrating the achievements of small grant funding. As a developing coach, she loves to motivate others in building a narrative around their practice. As a researcher, she gets great pleasure from improving academic standards in our field.

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